Day Trip: The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

If you are fascinated by history or can appreciate an incredible view, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum should absolutely be on your must see list.

The museum is a great way for any history buff to learn more about the important role lighthouses have played throughout our history, and the views of Daytona Beach and Ponce Inlet will take your breath away!

With 203 steps on the way to the top of its 175-foot tower, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in all of Florida.

Even more exciting is the fact that this awesome historic building is located less than 45 minutes south of Plantation Bay! You can get there quickest by taking I-95, or you can take the scenic route down A1A which will take you a little over an hour.


The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse began its life as the Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse in March of 1883, when the land was purchased to build the structure. During the construction process, the chief engineer and three other people drowned in the inlet. The tower was eventually completed in 1886. In 1927, Mosquito Inlet officially changed its name to Ponce de Leon Inlet to increase tourism.

The Mosquito/Ponce Inlet Lighthouse has a storied history filled with great stories of many of its keepers. Those keepers worked the lighthouse all the way up until it was automated in 1953. Then, in 1970, the Coast Guard abandoned the lighthouse and it became the property of the town.

In the following two years, the lighthouse would be badly vandalized, but through the work of many volunteers it would eventually be fully restored. Today, the lighthouse is designated as a national historic landmark. It is also fully functional today as an operational private aid to navigation featuring the fully restored original lenses in the lantern room.


The lighthouse and museum are both open to the public seven days a week starting at 10:00 am. Closing times vary according to the time of year and different seasonal events.

The most popular thing to do when visiting the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is to climb all of the stairs to the top of the tower. From the top of the tower, you can step out onto the gallery deck where you will find breathtaking views of the Atlantic coast.

History buffs will be interested in touring the Keepers’ Dwellings and the Oil House. The Keepers’ Dwelling will give you a glimpse into what daily life was like for the lighthouse keeper and his family. The Oil House is where the kerosene would have been stored. It is strategically located far from any other buildings in case of a fire.

If you really want to dive into lighthouse history, you can also learn about how the lenses worked in the Lens Exhibit Building or tour the Radio and Generator Room. In order to remember your trip, there is also a great souvenir shop located on the property.

Dinner Anyone?

After climbing all those stairs you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. Lucky for you there are plenty of great restaurants nearby.

North Turn, Down the Hatch, and Our Deck Down Under are all great bets.

People come from all over the world to visit the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. Plantation Bay residents are fortunate to have such an impressive attraction located less than an hour from their homes.

The next time you are looking for something fun to do on the weekend, head down to Ponce Inlet for the day and you won’t be disappointed.